Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chopped Liver, My Name is Mom

Switching schools mid year can be tough. From day one at his new school my seven year old has been super excited about his school's version of Star of the Week. Top Dog, it's called in his classroom. He has been patiently waiting for his turn to finally roll around, and here it is- his Top Dog Week!

He spent the weekend creating his poster and deciding what special items he would bring into school.

Notice how he is wishing for a pigeon. Keep wishing, kiddo, not gonna happen.

He has been talking about me, his mother, coming in to read to his class during his special week. Non stop. For months he has been planning for this, and now it is finally here. He spent the weekend reviewing his book choices. This morning he bounced down the steps yelling, "Today is the day you are reading to my class!", which prompted him to trip and fall the last few stairs. He popped right back up. "I'm OK! And you are READING TO MY CLASS TODAY!"

As he hopped up the bus steps he looked at me over his shoulder, calling out, "See you at school- I can't wait!"

I arrive at his classroom and stand in the doorway, listening to 19 students sitting at their desks reciting a poem, in unison. My son spots me and a huge smile breaks out on his beautiful face. His eyes sparkle and he can hardly contain his excitement. Finally, the poem is complete and his teacher asks my son to please come to the front of the room and introduce his special friend.

I stand next to my son, who has wrapped his arms around me, giddy. My child is giddy. My heart fills and I am so happy that I made the choice to be here, right now, in this moment, with my oldest son.

"Tell us who you have brought today, Matthew". his teacher asks.

"This is my mother."

"And tell us why you chose your mother to be your special guest today?"

I smile down at the thick dark hair on my child's head. He is twisting his fingers together, standing there in front of his peers. He is being brave, his nervousness at standing in front of so many people seeping out through his constantly moving fingers and they twist around each other. My sweet angel. This child who has been inexplicably connected to my heart from the moment he was placed in my arms. More so than with my youngest son, who is often a mystery to me,  I know this child's heart. I feel him. I know what is thinking, feeling. I know him like I know myself. My heart fills again with joy at this moment. I am his favorite person! I am his special guest!

"And tell us why you chose your mother to be your special guest today?"

"Because my daddy works an hour away."

I smile, ready to accept his sweet accolades. Wait, what did he just say? His daddy?

This is the child who fights to sit next to me on the sofa. Who pouts if he has to sit next to his father when eating out. Who always wants to ride in my car and not Daddy's. Who whines if he doesn't get to sit next to me at our dining room table. We actually have to rotate who sits next to me so that both boys get what they want. This is the child who is physically attached to me at all times. He complains if I run errands without him. He acts as though I am his everything.

Turns out, I am his second choice. Bummer.

"Tell us what you like about your mother. What does your mother do for you?"

"I like her cooking."

OK, we are back on top! I relax a little. Cooking, this I know a little something about. Daddy doesn't cook. Daddy only shops if I give him the list. Daddy doesn't have this all sewn up.

"What does your mom cook for you that you like?"

"Chicken nuggets."

Dang nab it. I plan healthy and creative meals. I shop. I cook. And yes, occasionally, I make chicken nuggets. Frozen, throw on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven, not the best nutrition chicken nuggets. And now everyone knows. Thanks, son.

"What else does your mother do with you that you like?"

"I like it when she takes me to the grocery store."

Uh sure. To buy chicken nuggets.

Obviously, I was quite the hit at school today. If you need me, I'll just be under the bed. My sweet husband, the one who works too far away to be brought to school- he can be in charge. Just turn on the oven to 425 and toss the nuggets in. You'll be famous...



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